Friday, November 29, 2013


Dear Family and friends,
     It has been a pretty busy week with feeding the Elder's Thanksgiving Dinner, having Zone Conference for two days and to top it off a great Thanksgiving with all the trimmings including turkey.  Our Thanksgiving with the Elder's will always be remembered and this time next yr we will be home so we wanted it to be special.  They do not celebrate Thanksgiving here but we wanted them to experience the joy of giving thanks for all the many blessings that we all enjoy.  We told them we don't need a day of Thanksgiving, to give thanks but we need to give thanks to a loving Heavenly Father everyday.  That we all have so many things to be grateful for.   We all bore our testimony and it was so spiritual and wonderful.  We felt the spirit so strong and we believe that they truly got the meaning of it all.  We hadn't been able to get a turkey but we fed them 3 roasted chickens and dressing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans and fruit salad.  The pies weren't the best.  But I did learn that pie crust is not flakey with how humid it is here.  They kind of reminded me of hockey pucks.  Anyway all went well. 
     Our Zone conference started with Elder Palmer picking up the President and his wife.  President and Sister Hicken and the AP;s at the airport.  I had to stay behind because of not enough room in the truck.  He delivered them to the Mombasa Branch and came back to pick me up.  We had a great day.  All the Chyulu Elder's arrived (8) and with our 6 we had quite a bunch.  The Elder's always bring in a special spirit to these meeting.  We ended the day taking them to the Serena Hotel in Bamburi and found they had reservations for us also.  Great to get away and the Hotel was beautiful.  Waking up this morning to the beautiful beach and beautiful flowers was really a treat for us.  We attended the Mombasa Branch again for 4 more missionary interviews and then off to the airport with them.  We hurried home to remember we had an Thanksgiving Dinner invitation from some Utah'ns.  Wow they actually had a turkey brought in which cost them an arm and a leg but we sure had a feast.  We came home with full bellies and so grateful for the wonderful wk.  Of course we missed our family and talked a lot about you all.  People are amazed of what a beautiful family we have and every chance I get I do a little bragging.  (a lot)
     We just want you all to know how much we truly love you and how grateful we are for all the lords blessings.  We send love to you all.  Love Mom & Dad, friend and grandpa & grandma

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Nile Crocodiles

These huge crocodiles weigh up to 2200 pounds and can reach up to 18 ft. long.  They can live up to 75 yrs and possibly up to 100.  There are 3 species of crocodiles.  Crocodiles are unmistakable with a tail that is 40% of the total length and has raised dorsal keels.  The body is covered by a large bony plate. 

Crocks have 66 peg like teeth adapted to grabbing hold of their prey.  Their eyes are valved  nostrils and are situated on the top of the head allowing them to make stealthy approach through the water.  They have short legs with webbed hind ft and the adult ones are a uniform dark olive to gray colour  with a yellow or cream belly.  They say that crocks and alligators are the closet living relatives of the dinosaurs.  They have advanced brains and hearts.

These are the remains of animals that the crocks have surprised as they were drinking water.

In this particular picture was an area that was just below the bridge and in very shallow water. They sneak upon their prey and with their jaws so wide they can get you before the animal is aware they are even around

They head toward shore and their they will sun themselves till the sun gets too hot.


This is the clean up crew.

They also like to soak in the morning sun


The Thompson Gazelle's are known as "Tommy's" and have a prominent black body strip.  They are quick and can twist and turn at high speeds, zig-zagging across the plains. 

Gazelles are beautiful creatures that will weigh from 130-165 pounds, with a life span about 10-12 yrs.  The Grant Gazelle is the largest one and has an upper tan body with a white belly and rump.  They have powerfully developed necks and long horns

Their voice is nasally but when alarmed its a loud nasal snort.  They are among the fleetest of all mammals reaching speeds up to 50 mph. 

Crowned Cranes


t is common to see birds on there back .The birds eat the parasites of there back 

They will chase down and kill a lion if they get a chase . Lions stay away from them. They look strong and they are. The males are about the same size as large Jersey bull

These are cape buffalo. They love to wallow in the mud 


 These animals come from the antelope family also.  These Toffee brown antelopes have large ears.  The males have beautiful shaped horns that can measure 1-2 ft in length.  They make nasal snorts and gutlural trumpeting noises.  They call this roaring and can be heard up to a mile.  They roam in herds of up to 200.  They are what you call mixed feeders.  They are capable of adapting to a variety of food.  Going from short grass areas and other times grazing in the foliage of bushes and trees. 


Topies are a member of the antelope family.They are easily spooked .

You often find them standing on top of a termite mound. The back part of there thigh looks like they are wearing a pair of blue jeans.M ales weigh up to 300lbs. Both males and females have horns

Water Bucks

These are  antelope with straight horns. Only the male has horns  A male can weigh up to 580 lbs 

The males have a darker coat with a horse shoe white rump 


 I actually was able to kiss Abraham.  He is a tamed giraffe and they say their saliva is some sort of antiseptic.  That made me feel a little better about it. 

The giraffe is so tall that it makes it difficult for them to reach down for water but when they do they spread their legs apart and this makes them very susceptible to enemies. This was a once in a life time event to see one at a water hole. 

As you see the giraffe is really a long legged creature that eats from tree's and bushes

They rarely form bonds with one another .

Masai Giraffe

These Giraffe's are the tallest mammals in the world with males reaching 18ft and females around 16 ft.  Males will weigh up to 2400 #'s. with the females averaging 1500 #'s.  Their life span is 20-28 yrs.

Despite their size, giraffe's like humans.  Both male and female have short skin covered horns which are solid bony out growths from the skull, unlike true horns.  They are usually silent but will utter harsh coughs, rumbles and grunts.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


They say when the lord was almost done creating and had spare animal parts that he created the Wildebeest. 

This is the main animal in the migration . Zebras travel along with them also . While the predators are not far away.

They are a strange looking cow like animal but the predators think they are tasty.


males weigh from 3300 to 6600 lbs. They are about 10 to 12 feet long. Life span around 35 years. They make bellowing oinks and grunts and snorts.

They live in water . They live in groups of 10 to 20 . They stay under water up to five minutes 

They can eat up to 100 lbs of food per night. Prefer short green grass

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


males can weigh up to 6000 lbs . They are about five to six ft in height and about 11 to 12ft in length They can live up to 30 to 40 years . There horns are worth a great deal it sells in the Asian market ground up for 60000 dollars an ounce.

There are not many left . They said in the Mara there is only about 20 left . In the area that we were in only about 10 are left. We were lucky to see one. Poachers take these and Elephants and lions. They all bring high dollors!!


They have broad stripes browner in color in females and jet black in stallions. each one has a unique coat pattern. 

Live about 15 to 20 years

they call each other with a barking sound . They are known as grazers.


Life span 12 years. You can tell between them and a Leopard by distinct black tear marks running from the inner corners of their eyes to there mouth
 Have a high pitched birdlike call sounds like a whistle. They hunt mostly during the first few hours of the day.

They can run a speed of 70 mph and strides of 23 ft when running